In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
Quran: Chapter 4, Lan Tanalu’, Sura: 3 ‘Al e Imran’ ‘The Family of Imran’, Verse: 190- 191:
Verse 190: Verily, in the creation of heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of night and day, there are indeed signs for men of understanding.
Verse 191: Those who remember Allah standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides, and think deeply about the creation of heavens and the earth, (saying): ‘Our Lord! You have not created (all) this without purpose, glory to You. Give us salvation from the torment of the Fire.
Difficult words: Salvation: rescue, escape.
Explanation by Ibne Kathir (‘Imad Ad-Din, Isma’il bin ’Umar bin Kathir b.702 Hijri in Basra, Syria– d.774 H/ b. 1301 Christian Era– d. 1373CE)
The Proofs of Tawhid for People of Understanding, their Characteristics, Speech, and Supplications
إِنَّ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ …
Verily, in the creation of the heavens and the Earth, referring to the sky in its height and spaciousness, the earth in its expanse and density, the tremendous features they have of rotating planets, seas, mountains, deserts, trees, plants, fruits, animals, metals and various beneficial colors, scents, tastes and elements.
… وَاخْتِلاَفِ اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ …
And in the alternation of night and day, as one follows and takes from the length of the other. For instance, at times one of them becomes longer than the other, shorter than the other at times and equal to the other at other times, and the same is repeated again and again, and all this occurs by the decision of the Almighty, Most Wise.
This is why Allah said,
… لآيَاتٍ لِّأُوْلِي الألْبَابِ ﴿١٩٠﴾
there are indeed signs for men of understanding, referring to the intelligent and sound minds that contemplate about the true reality of things, unlike the deaf and mute who do not have sound comprehension.
Allah said about the latter type,
وَكَأَيِّن مِّن ءَايَةٍ فِى السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ يَمُرُّونَ عَلَيْهَا وَهُمْ عَنْهَا مُعْرِضُونَ – وَمَا يُؤْمِنُ أَكْثَرُهُمْ بِاللَّهِ إِلاَّ وَهُمْ مُّشْرِكُونَ
And how many a sign in the heavens and the earth they pass by, while they are averse therefrom. And most of them believe not in Allah except that they attribute partners unto Him. (12:105-106)
Allah then describes those who have good minds,
الَّذِينَ يَذْكُرُونَ اللّهَ قِيَامًا وَقُعُودًا وَعَلَىَ جُنُوبِهِمْ …
Those who remember Allah standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides.
Al-Bukhari recorded that Imran bin Husayn said that the Messenger of Allah said,
صَلِّ قَائِمًا، فَإِنْ لَمْ تَسْتَطِعْ فَقَاعِدًا، فَإِنْ لَمْ تَسْتَطِعْ فَعَلَى جَنْب
Pray while standing, and if you can’t, pray while sitting, and if you cannot do even that, then pray lying on your side.
Samia2010oct: Al-Bukhari: Full name Imâm Abû `Abdullâh Muhammad ibn Ismâ`îl al-Bukhârî (194 H- 265 H / 809 CE- 878 CE) http://www.sunnah.org/history/Scholars/imam_bukhari.htm
Continuation of Explanation by Ibne Kathir:
These people remember Allah in all situations, in their heart and speech,
… وَيَتَفَكَّرُونَ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ …
and think deeply about the creation of the heavens and the Earth,
contemplating about signs in the sky and earth that testify to the might, ability, knowledge, wisdom, will and mercy of the Creator.
Allah criticizes those who do not contemplate about His creation, which testifies to His existence, Attributes, Shariah, His decree and Ayat.
وَكَأَيِّن مِّن ءَايَةٍ فِى السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ يَمُرُّونَ عَلَيْهَا وَهُمْ عَنْهَا مُعْرِضُونَ
وَمَا يُؤْمِنُ أَكْثَرُهُمْ بِاللَّهِ إِلاَّ وَهُمْ مُّشْرِكُونَ
And how many a sign in the heavens and the Earth they pass by, while they are averse therefrom. And most of them believe not in Allah except that they attribute partners unto Him. (12:105-106)
Allah also praises His believing servants,
الَّذِينَ يَذْكُرُونَ اللّهَ قِيَامًا وَقُعُودًا وَعَلَىَ جُنُوبِهِمْ وَيَتَفَكَّرُونَ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ
Those who remember Allah standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides, and think deeply about the creation of the heavens and the earth, supplicating;
… رَبَّنَا مَا خَلَقْتَ هَذا بَاطِلاً …
“Our Lord! You have not created this without purpose,” You did not create all this in jest and play. Rather, You created it in truth, so that You recompense those who do evil in kind, and reward those who do righteous deeds with what is better.
The faithful believers praise Allah and deny that He does anything in jest and without purpose, saying,
… سُبْحَانَكَ …
“glory to You,” for You would never create anything without purpose.
… فَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ ﴿١٩١﴾
“Give us salvation from the torment of the Fire.”
meaning, “O You Who created the creation in truth and justice, Who is far from any shortcomings, or doing things without purpose or with jest, save us from the torment of the Fire with Your power and strength. Direct us to perform the deeds that make You pleased with us. Guide us to righteous work from which You admit us into the delightful Paradise, and save us from Your painful torment.”
Notes by samia2010oct: Allah Orders one to remember Him standing, sitting, and lying down on one’s sides, thinking deeply about the creations of heavens and the earth and to realize the purpose of these creations, after offering compulsory prayers. One has to remember Quran, or parts of Quran, to act upon this Verse, because only after learning Quran by heart one is able to remember Allah standing, sitting and lying down on one’s sides. It is good to be clean all the time and be with ablution. But if the state of ablution is not possible all the time, one can revise Quran orally or remember it in one’s heart even without ablution, for e.g. when one just wakes in the middle of night or when one wakes up in the morning but he/ she is still in the bed, at that time one is not in the state of ablution, still one can remember Allah if one knows Quran by heart. Allah also Orders to ‘think deeply about the creation of heavens and the earth’ and try to find His Greatness and His Powerfulness through His creations. To achieve this one has to get education, the more one knows about the creations of Allah the more one realizes the Greatness of Allah and the more nearer one gets to Allah. If one does not know Quran by heart still one must remember Allah all the time, things He likes us to do and things He forbids us to do. This should be the spirit of life and this should be the way of doing worldly things. Those who do not remember Allah standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides are not achieving the higher level of Taqwa ‘Purification’. Also those who do not try to remember Allah’s Greatness while thinking about the creations of heavens and the earth and while doing their worldly every day chores of lives, they are also not achieving the higher level of Taqwa ‘Purification’, and hence not having higher place in the Glorious Eyes of Allah The Merciful.
May Allah the Merciful put His love in our hearts so we do our best to struggle for the higher places in His Benevolent Eyes. Aameen.